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Media release – Kabul, 14th February 2014




Breaking the Silence - No end to illegal abortions


By KhujaBasirFetri and ZarghoonaSalehi


Desperate families are resorting to abortion in unsafe conditions and abandoning new-borns, particularly female infants. It is not unusual to find an aborted foetus in city garbage dumps. An investigation by the Independent Media Consortium Productions.


DrFatemaNazari, a specialist at RabiaBalkhi Maternity Hospital said she has seen babies who were abandoned by mothers after the delivery. Often the reasons are the gender of the baby, and the parents’ inability to provide for another child.

Nine new-born girls and two boys were left in three Kabul hospitals in the last 10 months, according to MoPH’s Department of Curative Medicine.

Mohammad Ajmal, a Kabul resident, said a neighbour in the 16th District found a female infant wrapped in a blanket in a graveyard in Tapa Maranjan. Ajmal and his wife adopted the baby.

A woman who gives birth to a daughter risks being beaten by her husband and his family members. Latifa, 35, a mother of six in the Qala-e-Zaman Khan area in Kabul, says after each birth she was brutally abused by her husband. Now Latifa is two-months pregnant with her seventh child. She hopes it will be a son or her husband has threatened to marry again.

HawaAlamNuristani, a press officer at the AIHRC, says the obsession with sons is contrary to the Shariah and against Islam and human rights. The AttornyGeneral’s Office has recorded some 8,000 cases since 2009 of heinous abuse when women bore girls or were infertile.

Women take a deadly cocktail of medicines to force a miscarriage, or turn to midwives for help to terminate the pregnancy.

Abortion laws make no concessions for survivors of rape or domestic abuse. The shame of sex outside marriage is so strong that a rape survivor has little chance of living a normal life, and is instead blamed for bringing dishonour to the family and tribe.

There are no official figures of unsafe abortions. An official in the sanitation department of Kabul Municipality says some 70 aborted foetuses were found in landfills in the Gazak area of Bagrami district, Kabul province, in the past one year. Abdul BasirAkhundzada, who works as a manager in Gazak, told IMC that at least two or threefoetuses are found in a month.

A municipal cleaner said there is not a month that they have not found “three to four foetuses in garbage skips in Kabul City”.

            The mayor of Bamyan Cit, claims aborted foetuses were found in garbage skips next to Bamyan University. An appeals lawyer in the Attorney General’s Office for Takhar province says two foetuses were found in farm land adjoining the provincial capital Taluqan. The head of the provincial health department of Kapisa, says unwanted babies are abandoned also in hospitals in his province. His counterpart in Nangarhar said there were two cases in the government hospital last year. In both cases the mothers died in childbirth, and the fathers were not ready to take their daughters home.

In Afghanistan, maternal mortality rates are one of the highest in the world.



Read-listen the complete report from Saturday January 4th on.







Independent Afghan media is investigating human rights abuses and corruption cases: 24 reports in a first phase that are being published simultaneously by the partners in the Independent Media Consortium (IMC). IMCP is the production component of IMC.

The media partners of the Independent Media Consortium (IMC) are Pajhwok Afghan News, Killid radios, Radio Nawa network, Killid print media (Killid, Morsal and Sapeda), Hasht-e-Subh (8AM) daily, and Saba TV. IMC was created in March 2012.

The authors of the latest report are PAN’s KhujaBasirFetri and ZarghoonaSalehi. Azizi edited the written version. Killid’sHamedKohestani conducted the radio version. The translation into Pashto was undertaken by PAN and into English by Killid, then edited by Ann Ninan.


IMCP team of investigative reporters is led by Abdul QadirMunsef (Pajhwok) and supervised by Ricardo Grassi, IMC’s coordinator.


Reports published by IMCP are disseminated widely. Tawanmandi, a programme that works to strengthen Afghan civil society through funding and capacity development support, has granted funding for the project.

Tawanmandi aims to build a vibrant and inclusive civil society that is able to effectively engage with policy and practice at national and local levels in the areas of human rights, access to justice, anti-corruption, peace-building and conflict resolution, and media, together with gender, youth, and disability as crosscutting issues.


Listen and read this extraordinary investigative report and get previous ones at:



Radios Nawa 103.1 FM (Sat 15th Feb 4:30PM and Sunday 16thFeb )

Killid 88.0 FM (Sat 15th Feb 11AM – Wed 19th 11AM

On line radio: http://www.topradiofree.com/listen/Radio_Killid_880.html


Printed in Hasht-e-Subh daily, Killid and Morsal weeklies – Sat 15th Feb

Disseminated by Pajhwok Afghan News from Sat 15th Feb in three languages.


Contact:IMC Coordinator – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.